1220HSL | Lecture Three – Can Technology Save Us?
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Lecture Three – Can Technology Save Us?

Lecture Three is where we start to question the technological utopia Kelly, Evans, and Tapscott seem to set up. We will discuss where the real digital revolution may lie, the concept of risk, the darker side of the internet, and whether technology really has the capacity to save us at all. We will discuss automation, abundance, that no employment sector will be immune to technologically driven automation over the coming decades, and the challenges we face as a result will be both direct – and mortal to both capitalism and democracy, the risks associated with social networks, what it means to be born with inbuilt human SEO, the impact of being ‘naked’ on the Internet, the good the bad and the ugly side of virtual sock-puppets, what ‘Dark Matter’ and the ‘Dark Wallet’ is and what path they may be leading us down, and lastly – which will lead into the following week, a discussion on whether technology should have any say on the ongoing question of humanity. Like always I have a few things I want you to check out in advance. a TED Talk delivered by Alessandro Acquisiti, an article by Roisin Kiberd on the ‘fappening’, and article by Charles Seife on ‘sockpuppets’, and an article by Andy Greenberg on ‘dark matter and dark wallet’. Links to everything you need below.



Lecture Three Slides (ppt)

Lecture Three Slides (pdf)

Article I ‘The Fappening’

Article II ‘Sockpuppets’

Article III ‘Waiting For Dark’




In certain contexts, Kelly, Evans, Tapscott, and Chalmers (The Extended Mind Thesis) paint a fairly utopian future for both business and humanity – just how big are the risks here …

And this is an add-on guys. Just to keep you thinking. Within Lecture Three are some angles that strongly argue that technology and automation will replace human jobs and subsequently wreak havoc on the middle class. Here is one example of that - “Those who study the matter believe that something in the order of one-half of existing jobs will be eliminated in the coming one to two decades, and that no sector will be immune to automation. In 2014 another CEO announced at Davos that most traditional white collar jobs were also on the digital chopping block. And no one foresees any new employment sectors opening up that are sufficient to swallow the displaced workers or the hundreds of millions of people entering the work-force across the planet. Not even close”. And so in keeping with the nature of this course – of critical inquiry and debate – there always being more than one side to the story – and a chance for you to develop your own truth – I wanted to share a few articles with you that counter such claims.  Important Note: These extra articles are not assessable and do not form part of your quiz next week. They are offered just to keep you thinking. Check em out on the side of the Lyne talk.



Article IV ‘Sorry But Amazon Isn’t Stealing Jobs’

Article V ‘Automation & Anxiety’

Article VI ‘Where Machines Could Replace Humans’




Havelock Elis

“The greatest task before civilisation at present is to make machines what they ought to be, the slaves, instead of the masters of men”




Do you think we still have a chance  …